Myself, I don’t think so. I’m big on being keeping my financial house in order, but I think that’s second only to staying healthy. Without my health, no amount of money in the world will make me feel good. There are plenty of cheap ways to stay healthy.
That said, I don’t think that the two are mutually exclusive. Some people complain that they can’t get enough exercise without going to the gym, or that vegetables and healthy eating is too expensive, so it’s hard to be healthy on a budget.
To that I say, bull.
I’ve been living on only 45% of my income for the past year, and I can say that with the exception of extreme case (there are always exceptions) it’s entirely possible to be both healthy and frugal. Here are a few ways I manage to stay healthy on a budget.
Run, Run, Run
You don’t need fancy shoes, you don’t need expensive workout gear, all you need is your own two feet, those old sneakers that have been lurking in the back of your closet, and a little bit of courage. Running is a great free activity that can be done pretty much everywhere.
You don’t need to have a home gym, so stop with the excuses. Also, pro hint: Don’t let being embarrassed or thinking that you’re going to look like an idiot stop you. Your fellow runners are just happy to see you even trying, and you are already way ahead of everyone else who isn’t running.
Brown Bag It
Unless you are taking pizza pockets to work, odds are that the lunch you pack will be healthier than the fast food options available to you on your lunch break.
I typically make extra portions of meals the night before, and bring them with me the next day. It’s healthy, and vastly cheaper than buying your lunch every day.
Cut Out the Junk
I know this is an unpopular topic, but you can’t eat like crap if you don’t buy like crap. Cut out the ice cream, chips, cookies, pop and anything else that is processed.
You probably don’t need it, in fact, you probably don’t even need to replace it with something healthy, because if you’re anything like me, you consume far too many calories in a day anyway. This will definitely lower your grocery bill and make you healthier. I’m pretty good with this one, but I still have my once a week chip indulgence.
Use Your Own Two Feet as Transportation
This one I can’t make much use of, because I live in the middle of nowhere and the nearest town is 8km away. BUT, if you live in the city, where walking places is actually an option, I highly recommend using your own two feet to get you places! It’ll make you more fit and save you money on buses, trains and gas.
The majority of the population in North America is unhealthy. In fact, 2/3 of the American population is considered overweight! Yes it can be expensive to live a healthy lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be.
The trade off is that instead of costing a lot of money, being healthy costs a lot of effort. It can be done though, especially if you follow some of these simple, healthy and cheap ways to stay fit.